Discover The Genetics of Obesity
Genes play a role in the battle against the bulge. The precise link between genetics and obesity is unclear, yet there is compelling research results that show a correlation between obesity and a person’s genetic makeup. Studies on obesity genetics continue to indicate that heredity can contribute to obesity. Traditional factors include high-calorie food and lack of physical activity.
Worldwide, obesity is on the increase and is expected to continue to increase to about 700 million people by 2015. In fact, more people die from being overweight than from being underweight.
The genetic link was first revealed by studies involving overweight twins who are raised apart in different environmental factors.
Obesity And Genes
Genetics can affect appetite, sense of fullness, how the food is processed, the amount of calories burned during exercise and at rest, how excess fat is burned and where excess fat is stored.
Research into obesity has determined that a malfunctioning UCP2, plays a role in regulating the body temperature, may increase the chance of excess fat due to lower body temperatures and lower caloric needs.
A gene known as ob regulates a protein called leptin. A defective ob gene can reduce the levels of leptin and increase the craving for food.
The total number of genes which have been associated or linked with increased weight is over 200.
Obesity And Family
Studies of adopted children have consistently shown that upon reaching adulthood, the adopted child’s bodily features mirror their birth parents.
Genetic mutations, like a defect in leptin, have been evidenced by infants who are morbidly obese from infancy.
The Link Between Obesity And Genes
The human body has a weight-regulating system that is extremely precise. Typically annual amount of calories a person ingests is maintained within a narrow range of over the time period of decades. It’s an example of the bodies ability to balance calorie intake with calorie output with 99.5 percent consistency throughout a person’s life.
The bodies resistance to weight change is due to genes that control the amount of food you eat and your metabolism. If you gain weight you are less hungry and if you lose weight you will unconsciously eat more to return to your ideal weight. This principle even applies to obese people. When an overweight person loses a large amount of weight the first reaction their body has it to fight back and regain the weight. It’s difficult to lose 10 pounds and even more difficult to lose 100 or more pounds.
Since a 10 percent weight loss can precipitate health benefits, nutrition and exercise are usually enough to offset obese genetic tendencies. Unfortunately, the role of certain genes like leptin undercuts the popular myth that food intake is basically a voluntary control.